Happy Spring! (Sort of.)

Hey everyone!

I hope you and your family are holding up okay in this bizarre, unprecedented, and uncertain season of life we’re ALL experiencing.

I unfortunately don’t have anything profound to say that hasn’t been said already.

2 quick quotes that come to mind:

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt (No worries, I’m not taking the virus lightly!)

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

Connect 5000 had corporate office space for 4 years and a while back, I made the decision for shut down the office and have everyone work from home since I had maybe 2 total visitors swing by my office. (Several clients aren’t located in Kansas City.)

So working from home hasn’t had any major impact on the company.

BUT, with school cancelled the remainder of the year, it’s been a challenge working from home with my 2 kids and wife here all day instead of being in school. Small inconvenience comparatively speaking.

Unfortunately, us small business owners have companies to run during this virus outbreak and we all have  a sense of urgency with a recession looming in the background.

We all have sales calls to make and clients to convert.

Prospects in good times were hard enough to connect with and now, our jobs are even tougher.  My advice is when you reach out to prospects is to acknowledge the obvious, BUT get back on track and get right to the point of helping your prospects.

Creative Lead Generation Idea: A CEO of a managed services provider in Atlanta, Georgia, gave me this morning:

Send your prospect a bottle of aspirin asking, “Is your technology (Or insert something else) causing you headaches?”

I love it! Short, sweet and to the point! When was the last time you received a bottle of aspirin in the mail?

Hang in there folks!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000 and hoping for a quick end to this virus.

 

 

Another Sales Weapon To Add To Your Arsenal

Happy 2020 everyone!

I can’t believe half of January is already gone! Where does time fly?

Last July I was in Hawaii for a family reunion and met up with a Sales VP who was a past client of mine. She told me about BombBomb, a video service. I looked it up and put it in the “Save for later” ideas.

She joked that she was waiting for the FBI to show up at her condo any minute.

Then later in the fall, I heard about BombBomb through Vanessa Edwards because I subscribe to her newsletter.

So in December 2019, I filled out the contact form to request a demo, took a tour, got my questions answered and signed up for one year.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s really hard to get prospect’s attention because they are busy and bombarded all day long.

AND, lots of companies have done away with work desk phones and the ONLY way to catch executives is via email or if you have their cell phone, which they don’t tend to give out easily.

BombBomb is a video marketing service you can use from your desktop and very user friendly. Their website is www.bombbomb.com.

(No worries, I don’t get a penny for referring you to them!)

You can send quick, personal videos to prospects using your work Outlook email or through their online platform.

Voicemails can be impersonal, boring and easily deleted.

Bombbomb gives you a chance to stand out when leave a message, maybe even the same exact voicemail you’d leave a prospect, BUT the prospect can now see you and it gives you a chance to be memorable and let them know that you’re a down to earth individual who wants to connect and communicate versus some anonymous stranger trying to get your attention.

The company has plenty of resources, tips and secrets to get you going. Don’t worry about your videos trying to be slick, professional and perfect. Aim instead for authenticity and just being real.

Let me know how results are working for you if you sign up!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000!

Guess how many websites there are globally?

(And we wonder why it’s tough to get prospect’s attention!)

Happy December folks!

I came across an article recently by Netcraft.

Netcraft is an internet services company based in the United Kingdom which provides internet security services.

Netcraft did some surveys in January 2018 and realized there are 1,805,260,010 websites worldwide.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that almost a year later, that number’s gone up since then.

So what? Why does this matter?

Because one of the things I’ve argued over and over is that sales executives aren’t losing to competitors a majority of the time, they’re losing to the status quo. With 1.8 BILLION websites and counting, executive decision-makers are overwhelmed and time is a precious commodity.

Andrew Jenkins said it best: “Too many fishermen, not enough fish.”

In the words of Jeremy Miller: “Prospects are experiencing digital marketing fatigue and are tuning out. With the noise factor skyrocketing and digital fatigue setting in, you need to find new ways (or more accurately, old school ways) to engage your customers.”

Old school ways? Dare I say direct selling or outbound sales prospecting?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

 

Content Marketing Myth: Good content rises to the top!

Hello everyone!

I read an article recently by Jeremy Miller of Sticky Branding.

In his words verbatim straight from the article:

“Today, you can write a hundred articles and not generate a single lead. According to a research report by Moz, 50% of articles published have no likes, shares, comments, and probably no views.

Sure, it’s easy to say things like, “Good content rises to the top.” No, it doesn’t!

You can write brilliant articles that people should actually pay for, but that doesn’t mean anyone will be compelled to buy your services. Why? Because they don’t see them!”

Here’s the link to the article from Moz.

Takeaway: so are you wasting time, money and effort to generate content marketing that no one is reading or seeing?

Perhaps we should write less content and be more intentional at doing outbound outreach (AKA direct selling) to your ideal prospects. Just a thought.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

17.3% Turnover of Targeted CEO’s, President’s, VP’s of Marketing and Sales

Happy mid-September everyone!

I recently decided to scrub my database to make sure I didn’t have bad contact information.

I have a few thousand executives who I regularly market to.

My target executives are CEO’s, President’s, Vice Presidents of Sales and Marketing and Head’s of Demand Generation.

Not exactly entry-level workers.

So we did a recent cleansing and cross-referenced LinkedIn, undeliverables and bounce backs.

Guess what? 17.3% of these executives are gone! This list of names was compiled less than 3 years ago!

Several years ago, I did a data scrubbing and between 19-21% executives had changed positions or moved on.

Either the company was acquired, went out of business or merged. And the executive either changed positions, quit, was terminated or retired.

This is a good economy we are talking about. Not 2008!

What’s the lesson here?

If someone told you “No” in the past, there’s a 20% chance that person is longer there. Do a little bit of research and see if that executive is still with the company.

According to AdAge, the average tenure of a Chief Marketing Officer is about 4 years. About the same as a presidential term.

Regularly scrub your database and get rid of bad data. In both good and bad economies, people move around a lot.

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Thanks for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Early Labor Day everyone!

I received a well-written email from a potential provider this week asking for some of my time.

I ignored it.

The CEO sent another email and I responded. We went back and forth and I agreed to a demo.

After I agreed to a demo, he emailed me 4 questions, which I graciously answered.

The calendar invite was sent out, I accepted it and thought I wouldn’t hear from them until the scheduled time.

WRONG!

The CEO’s direct report then reached out to me asking me to fill out a 2-minute survey.

I get what he was trying to do but it was a bit too much, especially when they reached out to me initially.

I politely declined the survey and shared with him I had already answered the CEO’s 4 questions.

Folks, don’t over qualify your prospects and don’t make them jump through several hoops! Especially when you made the first contact.

Now if I had originally reached out to this company FIRST, I would understand them wanting additional information before moving forward so they didn’t waste their time or they could assign the appropriate rep.

Make the buying decision experience as smooth and easy as possible.

And if you pre-researched your prospect in advance, you shouldn’t have to ask several questions once they agree to a demo.

Wait for the discovery call to ask these questions when you can chat live with them, not via email.

Have a great holiday weekend!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000! Cheers!

Video In Case You Have A Bout of Insomnia

Happy March Madness everyone!

My team, the Kansas Jayhawks, got knocked out early in the NCAA tournament, which was not exactly a surprise.

This post today will be very short.

I was recently asked by a facilitator at Johnson County Community College to give a presentation to a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners on sales prospecting and lead generation.

The video is long and about 1.5 hours.

Here’s the link so please enjoy!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000

A Blog Post About Blogs and Blogging

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I came across this article yesterday.

Apparently, there are more than 440 million blogs in the world!

For comparison’s sake, there were 325.7 million people living in the USA as of 2017.

That’s more than 1 blog per man, woman, and child in the United States! Yikes!

Is blogging important? Depends on what kind of business you’re in.

I, myself, subscribe to numerous blogs. I consume them but have never bought from several thought leaders who have quality content. Chris Brogan, Michael Hyatt and others come to mind. Top notch thought leaders who provide lots of content marketing, but I’ve yet to invest in their products or services.

I’m not saying that blogs aren’t important and that you shouldn’t have one.

With attention spans at a premium and executives are dealing with severe information overload, how do you stand out?

Unless you have gobs of money to spend like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and other tech giants, how do you compete?

Can you trace a new client or sale directly to a blog post(s) you created?

If not, should you keep blogging? It’s a rhetorical question of course but I hope it makes you think before blogging.

What’s the end game? To get more clients? Look more credible? Be a thought leader?

None of these are bad but with the sheer volume of blogs out there, does it make sense to continue doing so just because everyone else is doing it?

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000. Thanks for reading my blog.

Another Reason To Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full

Happy mid-summer everyone!

4 more weeks to go until school starts. (But who’s counting?)

This summer has flown by quickly. Usually June, July, and August are slow until after Labor Day.

The economy has picked up and I’m thankful to have added 2 new reps this summer.

Quick story: A fractional CFO reached out to me a few months ago. He was a consultant for a 16-month client of mine. He listened in on calls, knew our track record and results, etc.

He was consulting for another healthcare startup company. We had multiple conversations with him and the CEO and if I was in Vegas, betting it would be a client, I would have bet highly with the odds in my favor.

He was a referral, he worked closely with the Sales VP at my client, etc. Referrals tend to move forward at a higher rate.

He requested a proposal and brought it to the board. One of the board members put the brakes on the process because he had a local resource who specialized in calling on healthcare organizations.

The prospect ended up going with them and let me know by phone.

A “yes” is better than “no”. “No” is better than silence and prospects avoiding you.

Keep your foot on the pedal and don’t let up. Verbal deals are never a sure thing until they are signed!

I’m Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000.

 

 

 

 

Sales Conversation Triggers and Book Giving

Happy December everyone!

This year has flown by quickly. I haven’t blogged in a while so as the holidays descend upon us, I thought I’d share a quick tip.

I’m an avid reader, with a Nook reader from Barnes and Noble with the Amazon Kindle app on the device.

I recently finished Paul Falcone’s book “96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire”.

It had been on my reading list for quite some time and I always want to improve my hiring skills.

A while back, I chatted with a CEO by phone, then we had lunch in person and we chatted some more by phone a few weeks later.

He mentioned that he made a couple of offers to some sales reps but the job candidates ended up getting counteroffers from their existing employer and decided to stay.

(This blog post is NOT about whether or not you should accept a counteroffer.  That’s a whole blog post in itself.)

Paul Falcone’s book addressed how to handle counteroffers in advance and not waiting till making a job offer to get blindsided by it.

He had some good suggestions to get counteroffer opportunities out in the open early rather than be surprised later on.

So as the CEO shared with me, I thought of the book. I told him about it and said I’d have it mailed to his office and to keep an eye out.

Last Friday, I met with the CEO and 6 of his staff and he had the book in his hand showing everyone.

Moral of the story: be alert to what your prospects are going through outside of what you’re trying to get them to agree to and add value. The book was less than $20, including shipping.

I strongly recommend you read the book if you hire people regularly.

In the meantime, I wish you a Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays and a great New Year!

May you end 2017 well!

Ray Ruecker with Connect 5000